Born over 100 years ago in the faculty that assesses English levels, the Cambridge ESOL exams are taken by about 5 million people every year. They are a great alternative to the TOEFL and IELTS tests as they are also recognised by employers, colleges and universities and are useful for work purposes and vocational and higher education admittance requirements. They are also indefinitely valid (unlike IELTS, for instance).
There are 5 exams one may choose to undertake depending on the English level they have achieved:
- The Key English Test (KET), which is made up of three parts (Reading and Writing, Listening and Speaking) and passing means an A2 (elementary) level is guaranteed;
- The Preliminary English Test (PET), which is made up of three parts (Reading and Writing, Listening and Speaking) and certifies a B1 (intermediate) English level in the Common European Framework;
- The First Certificate of English (FCE), which is made up of four parts (Reading and Use of English, Writing, Listening and Speaking) and certifies a B2 (upper-intermediate) knowledge of the English language.
The preparation course requires an intermediate entry level equivalent to an IELTS score of 5.0 – 6.0;
- The Certificate of Advanced English (CAE), which is made up of four parts (Reading and Use of English, Writing, Listening and Speaking). Passing grades range from C (which corresponds to a C1-level) and A (which corresponds to a C2-level). The preparation course requires an upper intermediate entry level equivalent to an IELTS score of 6.5 – 7.0;
- The Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), which is made up of four parts (Reading and Use of English, Writing, Listening and Speaking) and passing it means possessing a level of the English language equal to a well-educated mother-tongue speaker. Preparation courses for this advanced course require an entry level equivalent to an IELTS score of 7.5 – 9.0.
Grades are: Pass with Distinction (A), Pass with Merit (B), Pass (C) or Fail (D and E).
The exams cost between 120 and 200 euros each.
There are several scheduled sessions during the year, either paper- or computer-based.
Preparation courses are thorough and are designed for those who wish to either successfully pass the exam or generally improve the knowledge of the English language by embracing all aspects of the English language: grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, speaking and listening.
The FCE, CAE and CPE exams are taught by highly experienced and qualified teachers who can help students achieve the best results as these exams are quite challenging and require an in-depth intensive study method.
Improving listening, speaking and reading skills for a variety of genres, practising writing different types of texts (e.g. formal and informal letters, email, reports, articles and essays), familiarizing more with word formation and undertaking mock examinations are all useful practices offered by these courses.
A pre-entry test is usually required prior to enrolling in a Cambridge Preparation Course
There courses last between 10 and 12 weeks and the exam can be taken at the end.
Are you looking for a course to help you take the Cambridge exam? Contact Australia Way Agency!
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